But his citizens hated him
Not those who are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; whose citizenship is in heaven, and who are seeking the better country, and heavenly city; but the Jews, who were his own people and nation, among whom he was born, to whom he was sent and came, and had an undoubted right to the government of them: these hated him with a mortal hatred, as appeared by their traducing his person in the most opprobrious manner; vilifying his doctrine as false; ascribing his miracles to a diabolical influence; and by persecuting his disciples and followers:
and sent a message after him;
this seems to have respect to their outrage against the disciples of Christ, after his ascension; when they not only mocked them, as on the day of Pentecost, but laid hold on them, and put them in hold, even in the common prison, and persecuted them from place to place; and so virtually,
saying, we will not have this man to reign over
they would neither receive his Gospel, nor submit to his ordinances; but put them away from them, and judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life: and this is the language of every graceless soul; and is to be observed in their opposition to, and neglect of the truths of Christ, and his divine institutions; which are a yoke they do not care to take upon them, though so mild and easy, and are cords which they cast away from them.